The Project

When I was a little boy, I never wanted to become a fireman; never have I worshipped the uniform, neither yesterday nor today.

I approached this subject in the same frame of mind as The Human Face of Science, another of my projects. I am not so much interested in the uniform as in the man who lives underneath.

I began to think about these questions after a documentary about 9/11 which covered, amongst other subjects, the interventions of the firemen and policemen who ascended the towers in hope of rescuing the people trapped inside, while being totally aware of the risks involved.

Firemen are not superheroes. They cannot fly, are not invulnerable, and do not possess x-ray vision… In short, they cannot rely on extraordinary powers. Nevertheless, they do their best, only sustained by a courage that some people, not really informed of all the parameters of their interventions, might mistake for recklessness.

For me, the real question is: what is going on in the head of a man who opens the doors of two towers ablaze just after having witnessed two planes crashing against these buildings? And even without thinking about such extreme events, what is he thinking about when he is called on an intervention without knowing what it is that is waiting at the end of the road?

have had the great opportunity to follow the firemen of two very different countries during their operations and trainings. By being as close as possible to the action, even if I was not one of them, I can attest that, even though methods, philosophy and protocols may differ, these men are inspired by the same desires, the same will, and united by the same fraternity.

I must express all my gratitude to all of them for the way they welcomed me, for the answers they provided to all my questions, and for allowing me to live among them, like them, so I could grasp the reality of their daily life.

Photograhper : Charles Camarda
Written by : Charles Camarda & Nathalie Huet
Translation : Nathalie Huet